Panera, in touting its new breakfast sandwiches, recently pointed this unpleasant fact out. The company even went so far as to compare the eggs served by rivals like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A to “hockey pucks.”
Panera claims that while working to expand its breakfast menu, the company discovered that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not have “a clear definition for the term ‘egg.’” Because of this, the restaurant chain has petitioned the FDA to define what “egg” means for restaurants.
The company said that this lack of a definition means the “eggs” served by restaurants can also contain additives including “butter-type flavors, gums and added color.”
So we looked at the ingredients listed in the egg products on some popular fast food chains’ breakfast sandwiches to see what they contain. Here’s what we found:
Burger King’s breakfast menu has an assortment of egg sandwiches and burritos on offer. Its ingredients list says the egg product it uses is a “liquid egg—pasteurized mixture” that contains whole eggs, water and “2 percent or less” of the following: salt, xanthan gum, citric acid, annatto (color) and butter flavor (sunflower oil, natural flavors, medium chain triglycerides.
One of the chains that Panera took aim at, Chick-fil-A serves breakfast sandwiches with an egg product that contains similar ingredients as Burger King’s: whole eggs, water, as well as “2 percent or less” of the following: salt, natural butter type flavor (medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil, natural flavors), xanthan gum, citric acid and annatto (color).
If you want something less processed, the egg on Chick-fil-A’s Egg White Chicken Grillcontains only egg whites.